Cornell University Library History: Cornell’s University Librarians

portrait of Daniel Willard Fiske
Daniel Willard Fiske When Cornell University opened in October 1868, the library was housed in Morrill Hall, the first university building. Andrew Dickson White appointed Daniel Willard Fiske, his boyhood friend, to be the first Librarian of Cornell University. A linguist and passionate bibliophile, Fiske was an ideal candidate for the position. He had previously served as assistant ... more 1868-1883
George William Harris In 1886, after serving as acting librarian for three years, George William Harris was officially appointed Librarian of Cornell University. Born in Nova Scotia, Harris was a graduate of the Cornell Class of 1873. more 1883-1915
Willard Austen Willard Austen started his career in Cornell Library services while still an undergraduate, becoming a page in 1888. The year after he graduated in 1891, he was appointed as Assistant Librarian. Initially, the library had been seen as primarily a reference collection, but in 1908, the privilege of checking out the library’s books ... more 1915-1930
Otto Kinkeldey An internationally known musicologist and librarian at the New York Public Library, Otto Kinkeldey, became Cornell’s fourth Librarian in 1930. Born in New York, Kinkeldey received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1898 from City College and a Master of Arts degree from New York University in 1900. He studied ... more 1930-1946
Stephen A. McCarthy A native of Eden Valley, Minnesota, Stephen McCarthy received a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Before coming to Cornell, he served as the assistant director of libraries at Columbia University and director of libraries at the University of Nebraska. . more 1946-1967
David Kaser David Kaser came to Cornell University in 1968, bringing more than twenty years of experience in the field of library administration. Born in Mishawaka, Indiana, he began his career as a student library assistant at Houghton College in New York State, where ... more 1967-1973
J. Gormly Miller J. Gormly Miller received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Rochester in 1936 and a bachelor’s degree in Library Service from Columbia University in 1938. He worked at the Rochester Public Library from 1938 to 1942, and served in the United States Army during World War II. more 1975-1979
Louis E. Martin Louis E. Martin majored in English at the University of Detroit and received a master’s degree in English in 1954. He also earned a master’s degree in Library Science at the University of Michigan in 1960. After graduation, he taught in the English Department there, and was subsequently appointed circulation librarian. After serving briefly as assistant librarian ... more 1979-1986
Alain Seznec Alain Seznec was appointed as Carl A. Kroch University Librarian in 1986 after a long career in teaching and administration at Cornell. Born in Paris, he was educated at the Sorbonne. He first came to Cornell in 1958 as professor of Romance Studies from Harvard University, where he had been an instructor. During his long tenure as a faculty member, Seznec assumed ... more 1986-1996
Sarah Thomas Sarah Thomas received her bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1970 and a Master of Science in Library Science from Simmons College in 1973. She earned a Ph.D. in German literature from Johns Hopkins University in 1983, writing her dissertation on the topic, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the Insel-Verlag: a Case Study of Author-Publisher Relations. In a career ... more 1996-2007
portrait of Anne Kenney
Anne R. Kenney Anne R. Kenney received her bachelor's degree from Duke University in 1972, a master's degree in history from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1975, and a master's degree in library science in 1979 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She came to Cornell University Library in 1987 and served as associate director for the Department of Preservation ... more 2008-2017
portrait of Gerald Beasley
Gerald R. Beasley Gerald R. Beasley received his bachelor's degree from Pembroke College, Oxford University, in 1982, and a master's degree in English language and literature from Oxford. He also has a master’s degree in library studies from the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies at University College in London ... more 2017-2022
portrait of Elaine Westbrooks
Elaine L. Westbrooks Elaine L. Westbrooks received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998, and her master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999. She first came to Cornell University Library in 2000 as a metadata librarian at Albert R. Mann Library. In 2005, she became ... more 2022-Present